I watched the videos at this site and I wonder if these electronic locks
could be tampered with in a way that would disable them.
The battery cannot be removed when the lock is locked but they provide a
"battery jump" feature in case the battery dies while the lock is locked.
You pull the battery slot out just a little and use a new battery to "jump"
My concern would be the ability for someone to break the battery slot while
in that position, thus disabling the lock.
Watch the "battery jump" video. Seems to me that the slot could be
intentionally damaged when in the "jump" position which might render the
lock inoperable. For example, what if I took a pair of pliers and mangled
the battery slot so it couldn't be pushed back in and the jump contacts
Perhaps a live battery would still power the lock even if the vandal opened
the slot to the jump position and then mangled it. Obviously a dead battery
wouldn't so it seems that at least if the timing was right, the lock could
be disabled in that case.
I think i'll give Master Lock a call and see what they say.
I was thinking more in line with a simple way to disable them, perhaps
something a high school kid pranking a classmate might do, basically
nothing requiring power tools.
Pulling out an angle grinder In a locker room or hallway might attract some
attention. Getting 120VAC to trailer in a parking lot might also be
I was thinking more of a simple, non-powered method of disabling them. I
was actually wondering if there was a design flaw in this particular lock
that made them specifically susceptible to a quick and easy disabling.
The website mentioned "lockers" a few times, so I was thinking something
easily accomplished by a student. Crazy glue would work but a taser might
be be a little tough for a 10th grader to get their hands on.
Again, I was leaning more towards the design flaw of the battery slot being
I just spoke to a very nice gentleman (Scott) in the product
development department at Master Lock. He confirmed my concerns
related to the battery slot.
When the battery slot is opened to the "battery jump" position, it
does indeed disconnect the battery that is installed in the lock. If
someone then damages the slot such that it cannot be pushed back in or
jumped, the lock will be disabled.
Scott explained that lock security is a "double edged sword" and it's
always difficult to balance user friendly features with lock security.
Even with their standard 1500 series dial locks, if someone wants to
be a jerk (his word) and pop the dial off, there is not much they can
do to prevent that. With the electronic lock, if someone wants to be a
jerk and damage the batttery slot, well, then the lock will be
disabled. They needed a way to allow users to open the lock if the
battery died and the jump slot was the method chosen.
So I have a question...
Scott said that the battery gets disconnected because you wouldn't
want a dead battery in the circuit when trying to jump it. Therefore,
good battery or dead, it's gets disconnected when the battery slot is
opened to the jump position.
Isn't there a way to wire the battery such that the dead battery
wouldn't stop a good battery from jumping it? If the installed
battery was not disconnected when the slot was opened to the jump
position, then damaging the slot wouldn't (might not) disable the
lock. Yes, there are still lots of other ways to disable the lock, but
if the battery remained in the circuit even when the slot was opened
by a vandal, then mangling the slot would (might) be eliminated as a
Why are you so worried about this kind of lock,
does your local school district allow students
to bring in and use their own locks ? If not then
it is a moot point... Snap off the dial on a 1525
combo lock and the school still has the master
key in the back, put glue in that and the custodian
has bolt cutters...
You seem worried about a most unlikely scenario
on several levels: given that all schools need the
ability to conduct locker searches for school
safety without notice they won't be allowing the
use of non-school provided locks to which they
have no supervisory access as that would mean
phone calls from pissed off parents when the
locks are cut off with the aforementioned bolt
cutters thus destroying the personal property
of the students...
As far as your concerns about mangling the
battery slot, that is done intentionally so that
it would not be possible for a vandal to cause
the battery inside the lock to burst or catch
fire by applying hazardous voltages to the
terminals... There is no need to expose
customers to battery goo...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.